Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet Treat Tuesday- Strawberry Cupcakes

My baby boy turned 2 1/2 last Friday. I asked him what he wanted for dinner to celebrate and he asked for cake and hot dogs. So, that's what we had. I have begun limiting my my boys chocolate in the evening, so I made strawberry cupcakes. They were so very good! As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make them. I wasn't sure I wanted to make the same icing, because it took a little more time to make, but I decided to in the end. And I am so glad I did! It was so good. Light and fluffy. Almost like a jello fluff kind of icing. If you have the time, make this icing, if not, you'll still love these cupcakes. I did half the recipe, because our family did not need 36 cupcakes! I have written what I did in italics and parenthesis. My halved recipe makes 15 cupcakes.

Strawberry Cupcakes
adapted from Annie's Eats

Yield: 36 cupcakes (15 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour (1 1/8 cup)
½ cup cake flour (1/4 cup)
1 tbsp. baking powder (1/2 TBSP)
1 tsp. salt (1/2 tsp)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick butter)
2¼ cups sugar (1 1/8 cup)
1½ tsp. vanilla extract (3/4 tsp)
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white (2 whole eggs)
1 cup milk (1/2 cup)
2½ cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (1 1/4 cup)

For the frosting:
1½ cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)
4 large egg whites ( I used meringue powder that equaled 4 egg whites.)
1¼ cups sugar (1/2 + 1/8 cup)
3 sticks  unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 stick)

For garnish:
Additional fresh strawberries

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula.

Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Puree until completely smooth. Combine the egg whites (or meringue powder) and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved. I only did this until the sugar dissolved, since I wasn't using real eggs, I didn't not wait for the temperature to be met.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more or longer. Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with the frosting. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, and garnish with fresh berries or berry slices.

This recipe is linked to Prairie Story and Coupon Cookin, and Around My Kitchen Table.

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